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20 May 2020
Suddenly the ‘guns’ stopped firing, leading everyone to look at each other in disbelief’.
That would sum up the thoughts of many as news sunk in this week that the State Government had committed the money needed to finish a Warracknabeal Education Precinct project. Phew!
And by the way, that’s right… to finish the project. More than just a lazy few dollars as part of an extended staggered process – the whole box and dice – almost $20-million.
The money came through a $1.18-billion education building program in the government’s $2.7-billion statewide Building Works stimulus package.
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To say it was welcome would be an understatement.
Advocates, from regional politicians to mums and dads, have been relentless in pushing for the government to complete this project and the news would have come as both shock and enormous relief. A Warracknabeal community ‘finish what you started’ campaign has been at the core of the campaign to complete a project to consolidate Warracknabeal primary, secondary and special development schools at one site.
The government provided an initial $6-million for the project in 2016-17, but further development had since been in limbo with students and teachers unable to fully capitalise on new facilities.
The more cynical among us will quickly suggest that it took a pandemic and a need to capitalise on shovel-ready projects to stimulate the state economy for the government to finally act.
But for the moment, and in understanding that sometimes it takes all sorts of means to achieve an end, let’s just celebrate the win.
We can ponder over the politics later, when the COVID-19 pandemic has run its course.
Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford, in announcing the funding, and Member for Lowan Emma Kealy, who has campaigned for more than five years on the project, were both right.
Ms Pulford: “The Warracknabeal community deserves no less. They have been so patient and I’m thrilled that we will now be able to finish what we started here and create jobs.”
Ms Kealy: “To everyone involved with the campaign – teachers, parents, students and the wider community who never gave up – this achievement is testament to your dedication.”
The entire May 20, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!